Southside searches for first win

Published 7:34 pm Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Southside’s search for its first win continues against undefeated Greensboro Public on Friday.

The Panthers came close in a 26-20 overtime loss at Holt last week, but came up just short.

Holt tied the game up with a field goal late in the contest, and Southside’s last-second field goal attempt was blocked.

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But he loss only added to the confidence coach Lemuel Jones has in his team.

“The kids played hard. They’re beginning to grasp football concepts,” said Jones. “We’re making progress. We hope to turn that progress into wins.”

Part of the Panthers’ tough start is due to the players available to Jones. Jones has spent most of his first season teaching football and laying ground work.

“We’re beginning to make some of that foundation and get some of those blocks in place,” said Jones. “I have some athletes, but they’re not football players. Converting a kid into a football player — it just takes time.”

The Raiders finished 0-10 last season, but have gotten off to a fast start this year. They improved to 3-0 with a win over Dallas County last week and will be tough to beat.

Jones has not seen film on Greensboro yet, so he and his coaches do not know what to expect. But even with film, Southside’s preparation would sharpen its focus on teaching and improvement, not the opposition.

“We don’t change anything throughout the year,” said Jones. “We just do what we’re doing and try to get better at what we’re doing. That’s the only way be can get better. We just try to improve ourselves.”

Jones likes what he sees and thinks the Panthers’ first win is imminent. He thinks Southside can match up well with Greensboro, but he also has seen immense progress in his team.

“I tell them every day that we’re getting ready to beat a good football team,” said Jones. “(Southside fans) are right at the apex of seeing a good high school football team.”